A bit about gear, moving from Canon to Sony for timelapse.
I have been wanting to do a timelapse of the iconic red water lily’s opening for some time but with high season here in Siemreap, Angkor photography workshops have kept me busy. Now low season has arrived, I have geared up with a Sony A6300 to partner my faithful 6D. The reason for this is to shoot 4k video and stunning 120 frames per second HD footage. I will mix this with my timelapse work in an attempt to add content. The Sony also adds a second shooting option for timelapse and a backup camera. Several occasions when shooting storms, I have recomposed on a different scene thinking it looks better only to see the initial composition light up better. A second camera may help.
With the Sony, I will at some point venture into native lenses as the focus system works best for video. For now I have purchased a cheap adaptor ($20) to run my canon lenses. The more expensive adaptors have communication therefore control of aperture and focus capabilities, but they can be the price of a sony lens. With my set up there is no communication from camera to lens. Unless you have manual aperture adjustment on your lens, everything will be shot wide open. I linked the sony up with qdslrdashboard just to use the intervalometer. In the past I have has some issues with inconsistent intervals while using the 6D and this app, the same thing happened with the Sony. To run this app, you have to connect the Sony via wifi with the Sony play app. Be aware, as you have to set file type (raw) and iso etc. within the app, even thought you have set them on the camera. In hind sight, I think an external intervalometer or the Sony timelapse app ( or the free one ) would have been a better option.
I use magic lantern with the 6D and have found it reliable. If i’m in a changing light environment, I would connect up qdslrdashboard to control exposures, it works well. For this exercise it was just magic lantern as lighting was controlled.
The lily’s were brought home to a controlled environment. They open at night, usually from 6pm, closing after sunrise. It was hit and miss at to which flower would open. I shot over three evenings as the first two attempts there was a power cut, knocking the lightbox out, giving black frames during the openings. So, on the third evening, a battery powered torch was used with a transparent bag acting as a softbox.
For intervals, I wanted at lease 300 frames. 20 second interval gives me 1hr 40min for 300 intervals, while a 30 second interval gave me 2.5 hours. I prefer more shots than less, so would continuously run the camera (not limiting to 300 shots). Then, for iso100, I would set my exposure time, not to have any pure white. The sony was stuck on F4 because of the adapter, while the Canon I could up it to f8 or more.
It was simply a case of setting the light up correctly to eliminate most of the background. Some scenes were not used as removing objects with after effects was simply too time consuming. Had I known this, then I would have spent more time in setting things up correctly.
It is my first attempt, I’m pleased with the result. Theres room for improvement, thats for next time. The final scene of a closing lily, has some flickr due to changing daylight conditions behind a closed curtain. I could not remove with LrTimelapse, which mostly does a great job. As always workflow was Lrtimelapse with lightroom, followed by after effects to clean things up and produce the prores 422 files, finally putting everything together in premier pro. That final scene took a whopping eight hours, the last two leaves took a painful eternity to close!
Murphys law of timelapse – what went wrong. Something always does.
Power cut, losing my lightbox.
Varying intervals due to lrtimelapse.
Clutter in image making it difficult to use, must set up better next time.
Run a sequence on a flower which I think will open. The flower stayed closed. Turn camera off, sleep. Flower fully opened in morning!
You mat also like Kampot Salt Fields, a moment in time. Timelapse.
Check out my DIY motion kit here!